Russell George has been named as the top pick to replace John Boyd as Colorado Northwestern Community College president, according to a news release from the Colorado Community College System.
George is a former speaker of the Colorado House and currently the executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation.
As a house representative, George served Moffat, Garfield, Pitkin, and Rio Blanco counties from 1993 to 2000.
He is a graduate of Rifle High School, and later received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Colorado State University and law degree from Harvard Law School.
He recently served on Gov. Bill Ritter’s Higher Education Strategic Planning Committee that looked at the structure and funding for higher education in the state.
He lives in Rifle.
“I have had a lifelong interest in education in rural communities,” George said. “That’s how I made my opportunities. My family was always strong on education and I was encouraged — as among the first of our generation — to get higher education.
“It’s made a world of opportunities for me. And it has always stayed in my heart.”
Dr. Nancy McCallin, president of the Colorado Community College System that oversees CNCC, said George is a good fit.
“I am pleased that we have an excellent candidate from Northwest Colorado,” McCallin said.
Although George and CCCS have expressed mutual interest, the deal hasn’t yet been inked, said Rhonda Bentz, CCCS Director of Media and Legislative Communications.
First, CCCS wants to provide the communities of Craig and Rangely to meet with George, Bentz said. Meetings will be scheduled for later this month.
McCallin said the meetings are an important part of the process.
“As with any decision on presidencies for the colleges, community input is important to the decision-making process and I, too, look forward to the discussion for the college’s future and success,” she said.
George said he’s excited to reintroduce himself to the communities he once served.
“I look forward to meeting with faculty, staff, students, and community leaders to discuss their hopes and visions for the future of the college,” he said.
Current president John Boyd announced in late 2010 that he would resign from CNCC to assume the presidency of Mayland Community College in North Carolina. His last day at CNCC is Monday.
Boyd said he has known George for several years.
“Russell is a great guy,” Boyd said. “He’s a wonderful fit for the job.”
On Tuesday, Boyd was the honored guest during a farewell reception at CNCC’s Craig campus.
“We wish John the best for his presidency at Mayland Community
College,” McCallin said. “He has served the college and the community well during his presidency and we thank him for his work and contributions to CNCC and the system.”
CCCS has named Cliff Richardson, CCCS vice-president for Finance and Administration, as the school’s interim president.
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